Using the weekly Mama Fua might be the go-to for most of us, but this arrangement is wrought with inconsistencies. For example, she might be unavailable, prices might fluctuate, you can’t move with your favourite one, there may be damaged clothes or even inconsistent cleaning patterns. Once considered a pricey undertaking, washing machines offer a choice for those with busy schedules or those looking for a change. With many household brands now offering Kenyans more and more competitive rates, you can find one from Kshs 15000 – 100,000 depending on your needs, budget and preferences. Traditional and practical loaders are the cheapest, but they use more energy to run.

Here is a quick snapshot of what to look for when shopping for a washing machine to use at home:

Ease of usage

If you’re buying your first washing machine you need to find one that will not overwhelm you from the get go. Ensure that the control panel labels are clear and that it is easy to set the programs and add the detergent.  Washing machines can either be fully-automatic, which do everything for you at the touch of a button or semi-automatic, which can come with two tubs. Twin tub semi-automatic washing machines, will have you moving your clothes from one tub to the other during the washing process but are more affordable. However, if you’re after convenience, a fully-automatic washing machine will do everything for you from start to finish.

Household Capacity

Consider how many clothing items are laundered in the household per week. Naturally, larger households have more clothes to wash. You need to choose a washing machine that can handle larger loads per cycle or one that accommodates larger items such as heavy duty duvets. Drum sizes vary, ranging from those that can handle 5kg of clothes all the way to 12kg. A 6-7kg capacity washing machine should be ideal for a family of four.

Space availability

Full-sized washing machines have the potential to take up quite a lot of room so you have to consider the dimensions of the space you intend to allocate to the machine. Think about other factors, like a machine door that could possibly bang into a wall every time you open it. For limited space, a front loader may be your best bet. For this you can choose the Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine.

What kind of stains you work with

With younger ones in the mix, chances are you are more often than not fighting tougher stains.  Front loading machines have been found to bring better cleaning results compared to top loaders.  In that case, look for a washer that offers other features such as stain-remover or pre-soaking cycles or temperature manipulating settings that mixes in a bit of hot water with the cold which helps the powdered detergent dissolve completely for better stain removal.

Top or Bottom?

Front-loaders remove tougher stains more easily. Additionally, they use less water and energy even when compared against newer high-efficiency top-loaders. Top-loaders require less space, maintenance and have a better life span than front-loaders. Top loaders are broken down into two kinds: agitators and impellers. Agitators come with a pole with spokes that protrudes from the bottom of the drum and moves the clothes around. Impellers have propellers at the bottom, which churns the water to move the clothes. You can add clothes midway through the wash cycle when using a top loader and most of them use a shorter wash cycle.  Agitators have been found to be rougher on clothes.